When you purchase a home there are many documents to be signed that are prepared by the lender, the title company and general real estate forms specific to Michigan.

If the property that is purchased is going to be a primary residence, there are two forms that will need to be completed at the time of close: a Property Transfer Affidavit and a Principal Residence Exemption form. These two documents are filed with the local Assessor Office in whichever city, county, township or village the property is located. Usually, your real estate agent is familiar with which Assessor’s Office to use, however, you can always google “local assessor” with the address of the property and that should give you a good place to start.

The Property Transfer Affidavit is a form that shows the transfer of ownership. Once this form is filed with the Assessor’s Office all future tax bills, any future assessments, etc. will be mailed to the residence with the new owner’s information on it. In a purchase transaction, the transfer is from the Seller to the Buyer. This form can also be used when an individual changes their name, adds someone to title or removes someone from title. This form must be filed within 45 days of the change, or a financial penalty can be imposed.

The Principal Residence Exemption form is used to define the property as the primary residence, sometimes also referred to as the Homestead, thereby allowing the taxable rate for the property to be less than a secondary home or investment property. This form is only to be completed when the property is the primary residence of the individual. If the property is not the principal residence and an individual claims as such, there can be tax penalties and interest assessed.

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